It's unclear whether this news will spark joy for everyone or not, but Tidying Up with Marie Kondo was almost a scripted show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In a new interview, executive producer Gail Berman discussed the reality series' success, and how it almost arrived in a different form entirely. It's hard to beat the impact of sending the positive force that is Kondo directly into the lives of real people to help them get organized, but there's also something alluring about the idea that the KonMari method could have been turned into scripted goodness. Think a procedural, but with cleaning instead of murder.
Sadly, it doesn't sound like the potential TV series (or movie) based on Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, never got far enough along in the development stage for a plot to emerge. "We acquired the rights to Kondo's book about three years ago when we met Marie and started to work with her," Berman said to THR. "Initially, we were interested in doing the show in a scripted format and we were also approached to do it as a film, but we finally identified the most appropriate way for this journey to end. There were ups and downs, but we always thought that there was something very special in Marie and her message."
They were definitely right on that last point. Netflix is notorious about only releasing viewing stats when they feel like it, but the social media response to the reality series has been largely positive. Kondo's message is striking a chord with people, and her show has definitely sparked joy for fans of reality shows with a positive message.
As fun as it is to imagine all of the possible ways that Kondo's story could have translated into to a scripted series or movie, it feels like Berman and Netflix made the right move by allowing her to take real people on a journey of tidying up. By showing how letting go of clutter and dealing with emotional baggage can go hand in hand, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo seems to be helping the show's participants and viewers start the year out right.
Berman explained to THR that seeing the response to the show has been a pleasure — and a bit surreal. Even her Rabbi is sharing Kondo-themed memes with her via social media. Bust mostly, she's blown away by how many people feel compelled to try the KonMari method themselves after watching the show.
"People continue to tell me that they took it as a call to action and literally said to themselves, 'I must do this,' and started to do it," she explained. "People sent me photos of their sock drawers! Personally, I remember the first time I met Marie, I could not believe how tiny she was and how delicate and how I couldn't take my eyes off her. She was a TV star, right there."
Kondo truly does seem to be the true secret to the show's success — and it's hard to imagine a fictionalized version of her being half as inspiring, energetic, and watchable as the real deal. A scripted version of Tidying Up could of have been fun, but fans already know that the reality show is amazing (and sometimes life-changing) TV.